p>The holidays, particularly Christmas and Thanksgiving are associated with an abundance of food. People typically gain a few pounds during the holidays and the only ways of stopping this is to eat less (which is hard with all that food staring at you) or to burn it off through exercise. If you’re not lucky enough to live in Florida or Hawaii, exercising in the cold winter months of November and December can be hard, especially if you don’t have access to a gym.
If you’re traveling to visit family, exercise can get hard to fit into your schedule of spending time with them. It also might be a problem to actually find somewhere to exercise. If you have a gym membership at home, chances are that you can visit a gym outside of your area at a reduced cost or even for free. Call and ask about their policy. You can also go with another family member as a guest to their gym.
If you don’t have access to one, you’ll have to get a little more creative. All kids love playing outside. November might be too early, but in December you might be lucky enough for some snow. Use this to get the children active and go outside.
Build a snowman, go sledding or have a snow ball fight. You’ll get really tired building a base for the snowman, walking back up the hill after sledding and running around trying to avoid getting hit by a snowball. You’ll be having so much fun, you won’t even realize that you’re exercising.
If you prefer a more structured form of exercise, you can always try to run or walk for a few miles. Remember that in cold weather, you need to pay close attention to warming up your muscles as they can get injured more easily.
You can start indoors by doing jumping jacks, running in place and some simple stretches. After you’re warmed up, continue your workout outside. Also remember to protect your extremities.
Holiday food is very high in calories. If you don’t want the weight to stick, you need to burn those calories off. The best way to do this is through cardiovascular exercise – something that will get your heart pumping fast. All of the above examples will work.
If you can visit a gym, you can also use a stationary bike or a heated pool to swim. While being healthy is important, remember that the holidays are about spending time with those you love.
The Bottom Line
Keeping the holiday weight off (or at least to a minimum) either requires you to eat less (an unpopular and unrealistic goal for the holidays) or exercise more. Since food is a huge part of the holiday season, your best bet stay within your healthy weight range is to stick to your exercise routine.